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From a scholarly point-of-view, even Christian scholarship, the term glossolalia occurs under five conditions: A human produces a connected sequence of speech sounds.Those sounds are not identifiable as belonging to any natural language that the individual knows or with which they are familiar.
If we analyze the five places in the New Testament in which speaking in tongues is explicitly mentioned we find the following: Reference Passage Commentary Mark These signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will drive out demons, they will speak new languages.
Some believe this is a mistranslation with the word "they," meaning the Apostles, not everyone, and it was the Apostles who could speak new languages in order to spread the word of Christ (Coffman 1999).
Act 2 And they were all filled with the holy Spirit and began to speak in different tongues To speak in different tongues: ecstatic prayer in praise of God, interpreted in Acts 2:6, 11 as speaking in foreign languages, symbolizing the worldwide mission of the church (Urick 2009 Chapter 4).
Acts for they could hear them speaking in tongues and glorifying God These were people from another land according to the apostles; tongues probably means foreign languages not understood (Dibelius and Hanson 2004).
It is impossible for the individual to translate the meaning or works or phrases.
Typically, if asked, the individual cannot repeat the same sound-sequence on demand.A naive listener would think the utterances were of an unknown language (Poythress 1986).Although the converse opinion does not necessarily contradict a communion with the Holy Spirit, it does note that anyone can use free vocalization to enter a state of euphoria, or be so transfixed with group psychology that they become entranced and placed in an altered state of reality.And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance" (Acts 2:2-4).Word and Structural Analysis -- Unlike Biblical passages, the manner in which the term glossolalia appears in the Bible is generally part of a duality -- tongues meaning language and tongues meaning communion with the Holy Spirit.1 Corinthians 13:1 If I speak in human and angelic tongues but do not have love, I am a resounding gong or a clashing cymbal Witness issues of symbolism and personification.Here Paul does not state that he had tongues of angels, he stated "If" to give indication that he was only making the point about LOVE (Ibid.) 1 Corinthians 14:2 For one who speaks in a tongue does not speak to human beings but to God, for no one listens; he utters mysteries in spirit.Many were also in the city to celebrate the festival of the Pentecost: "Suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.The word glossa, in fact appears over 50 times in the Greek New Testament, and depending on the context and modifying words seems to refer more to what we would now term "foreign language," or even more simply "language." For instance, in Acts the phrase, "my tongue was glad" likely meant "I was happy to say." Similarly in Mark Jesus noted, "And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name they shall cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues." This has often been interpreted as justification for glossolalia, but could also mean that Jesus was predicting a world in which his words (Christianity) spread over the face of the earth to peoples speaking languages unheard of in the Biblical World.Even with 25 uses in Corinthians, one could easily interpret the use of tongues as a metaphor for making oneself understood to a new group -- that is either explaining the meaning of the Gospels to those who did not quite understand, or proselytizing to those who had no experience with the material.